Why Increasing Interaction Isn’t Enough

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Online Forums 2013 - August 16, 2013
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Barbara Hall, PhD

Assistant Professor
Ashford University

Peer interaction in eLearning falls along a continuum from substantive to irrelevant. Trainers, teachers, researchers, and even students have described peer-to-peer discourse as lacking sufficient value to support the intended outcomes of their eLearning environments. Despite an increasing focus on interaction, stakeholders still lament the low quality of peer discourse in eLearning.

Participants in this session will learn that interaction should not be our goal in designing and developing eLearning. Rather than interaction, which is a process, the real standard should be intersubjectivity—a big word to describe the simple concept of peers collaborating to acquire existing or develop new knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The difference between simple interaction and complex intersubjectivity
  • What instructors, students, and researchers are saying about peer interaction
  • Why your learning objectives might require a higher standard of peer discourse
  • About an existing tool for assessing peer interaction


Handouts are available for Learning Guild members. Please log in or join to download these files.


This recording is available for Learning Guild members. Please log in or join to download this file.


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